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Wayne State University

Superfund Research Program

Administrative Core

Project Leader: Melissa A. Runge-Morris
Grant Number: P42ES030991
Funding Period: 2022-2027
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)

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Project Summary (2022-2027)

Detroit has the highest preterm birth rate of the 100 US cities with the greatest number of births, and volatile organic chemicals are potential etiologic factors, likely due in part to their migration from Superfund sites to locations where human exposures can occur. The Center for Leadership in Environmental Awareness and Research (CLEAR) is dedicated to understanding and mitigating this serious environmental health problem, as well as working with their community, government agencies, and other stakeholders to increase awareness about this problem and cultivate a diverse cohort of leaders to mitigate it. The CLEAR Administrative Core is the integrative hub that provides experienced leadership, business management, structures for communication and coordination among Center research projects and cores, processes for research translation to stakeholders, and mechanisms for evaluation and adjustment of Center activities to reduce the impacts of volatile organic compounds on both public and environmental health.

In Aim 1, the Administrative Core coordinates essential centralized operational activities by providing strong leadership, managing Center business operations, communicating CLEAR operational activities to project and core leaders through monthly meetings of the Internal Advisory Committee, coordinating biannual meetings with the External Advisory Committee, communicating regularly with University leadership to ensure strong institutional support, and communicating regularly with SRP staff to report progress and ensure that CLEAR remains well-aligned with the SRP mission.

In Aim 2, the Administrative Core facilitates interdisciplinary interactions among CLEAR projects and cores through its monthly Internal Advisory Committee meetings, a weekly seminar series, quarterly half-day “progress-pulse” workshops, and an annual thematic symposium.

In Aim 3, the Administrative Core accomplishes research translation via an accomplished team with a unique blend of expertise in environmental justice communication, environmental and public health law, user-centered information design and communications, and economic impact analysis, who disseminate information about CLEAR research advances and program events to internal and external stakeholders that include academics, SRP staff, policymakers and government actors, community partners, and technology development partners, using a targeted communication strategy that includes publication, media dissemination, digital platforms, policy papers, annual reports, briefing sessions, community art exhibits, and symposia.

Aim 4 is devoted to Center self-evaluation and includes implementation of “Operational and Strategic Dashboards” to visualize metrics of performance against the Center’s goals, thereby providing an objective means to align strategy with tactics, ensure a goal-driven and performance-based data culture, and encourage interactivity and analysis throughout all components of the Center.

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